GaLTT’s volunteer board is very “hands on”, as the society has no paid staff, although we do have some support hired on contract for specific program services. For the most part several committees and subcommittees do GaLTT’s routine work between board meetings and all board members belong to at least one such committee, according to their personal skills and interests. In general, the chairperson of each committee is empowered to act and communicate on behalf of the Society based on pre-approved projects and within the existing policy framework of GaLTT. Some committee work is performed by GaLTT members who are not on the board.

As you can see if you dig into the info below, there’s a lot of practical overlap and collaboration in committee work, but the short summary under each title explains their overall areas of responsibility.

If you are interested in joining us in our work, please visit our Volunteer page.

Executive Committee

Responsible for day-to-day operations of GaLTT.

This committee is elected by the Board during the first meeting after our annual AGM. It is is composed of the Officers of the Society (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary) plus the immediate Past President. It has responsibilities related to strategic planning, board recruitment and training, planning for succession, meeting agendas, BC Society Annual Report, and contracts. It is also responsible for liaison with all levels of Government including local Islands Trust committee, Regional District of Nanaimo, Provincial Government departments and agencies, Federal Government departments and agencies, and Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Its current Chairperson is GaLTT’s President, Hugh Skinner. Members: Rob Brockley (Past President), Sarah Kopjar (Secretary); Peter Danenhower (Treasurer). The Vice President’s position is currently vacant. EMAIL:

Finance Committee

Responsible for GaLTT’s routine financial affairs.

Committee work includes managing donations, invoicing, bill payment and financial statements. It manages GaLTT memberships in other organizations, traditional and digital banking procedures, investment matters including Foundations, reviews of accounting categories and project/committee accounting, and annual accounting and reporting at the AGM and to BC Societies Registration and Revenue Canada. The Committee also interfaces with Canada Helps, to manage on-line donations.

Finance Committee is chaired by GaLTT’s Treasurer Peter Danenhower. It includes board members Rob Brockley, Hugh Skinner, and Tom Wojcik, and GaLTT member Robert Sharman. EMAIL:

Membership Committee

Responsible for membership data.

Membership committee maintains our membership lists, ensuring they are up to date, and directly messaging members whose memberships need renewal.

The committee is chaired by Rebecca Furnell who manages the digital membership applications and coordinates with Treasurer Peter Danenhower to keep track of membership fees and donations, and issue tax receipts. They coordinate with Communications Committee through Paula Brent, who maintains email contact with our members and volunteers about our activities and initiatives. EMAIL:

Conservation Committee

Responsible for conservation-related work conducted by GaLTT.

Matters relating to conservation include: conservation covenants; land acquisition; working on conservation issues as they pertain to various governments and agencies such the Islands Trust, Islands Trust Conservancy (ITC), BC Parks, and the RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo); and liaising with other land trusts.

GaLTT’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 re-emphasizes the conservation part of GaLTT’s mandate. The Committee

  • manages the creation, monitoring, and defence of conservation covenants, a valuable tool landowners can use to protect their land in perpetuity
  • oversees S’ul-hween X’pey (Elder Cedar) Nature Reserve management contracts with ITC
  • provides input and reviews management plans of Nature Reserves and other protected areas on Gabriola, e.g., S’ul-hween X’Pey and Link Island nature reserves
  • responds to mandate-related conservation issues that occur on Gabriola
  • works to educate landholders about stewardship in collaboration with the Community Engagement, Invasive Species and Communications committees.
  • works with Community Engagement to encourage legacy-giving to further GaLTT’s land acquisition initiatives

Its chair is Rob Brockley and committee members are board members Nola Johnston and Hugh Skinner, with GaLTT members Tom Cameron, Suzanne Campbell, Peter Danenhower, Anne Landry, and Frank Shoemaker. EMAIL:

Nature Stewards subcommittee

Responsible for oversight of our Nature Stewards program.

Our Nature Stewards program challenges and encourages landholders to make a voluntary pledge to conserve at least 30% of their property for wildlife habitat benefits. It’s our community effort to link with the worldwide goal of conserving and protecting 30% of Earth’s land and water biodiversity by 2030.

The program conducts walkabouts with landholders, helping them learn more about how their property fits into the island’s sensitive ecology, and provides resources and practical tips for conserving native habitat and improving biodiversity.

Our Nature Stewards program is coordinated by Ken Gurr, under contract, working with a volunteer outreach and guidance team of: Rob Brockley, Susan Brockley, Barbara Dow, Libby Gunn, Fred and Eileen Kaarsemaker, Carol McDougall, Christine McKim, and Susan Yates. EMAIL:

Invasive Species Committee

Responsible for all invasive species management work, site restoration, and any associated research.

This committee works with a large, dedicated team of volunteers to manage invasive plant removal and habitat restoration projects across the island. It organizes

  • large group events such as the annual broombash, in which they work with the Lions Club with the support of BC Parks to clear Drumbeg Park of broom while it is blooming
  • year-round, large and small work parties attacking the many invasive plants in public areas
  • encouraging individuals to work on removing invasive plants from their own land and in their neighbourhoods
  • restoration work following invasives removal at sites such as Drumbeg and Queequeg Parks
  • a team of research volunteers who are using research test-plots to investigate the best ways to manage invasive species

The committee works closely with the Community Engagement team and also with the Communications Committee to produce educational materials, online information and newspaper articles about Gabriola’s worst invasive plants and how to manage them.

Its Chairperson is Alison Thomas, working closely with Anne Canning, Suzanne Christopher, Linda Hellenius, Darci Swinton and Susan Yates. The committee has a large team of active volunteers. EMAIL:

Community Engagement Committee

Responsible for GaLTT’s public interface with our community.

This committee interacts directly with Gabriola’s community, providing information and activities relevant to our mandate and strategic plans. The committee does this by

  • maintaining a public presence with tables at the Gabriola Farmers’ Market and other community events
  • organizing trail walks and other activities (e.g. the annual End to End walk)
  • distributing GaLTT’s printed trail map
  • working with the elementary school on environmentally-themed projects
  • working with other Gabriola organizations in pursuit of common goals.
  • supporting GaLTT’s conservation mandate by providing educational workshops

Community Engagement works closely with the Invasive Species, Conservation, and Communications committees.

The Community Engagement Committee is chaired by member Lou Skinner. Committee members are: Suzanne Campbell, Suzanne Christopher, Paula Gray, Allan Posthuma, Alison Thomas (Board Liaison), and Cathie Traill. EMAIL:

Native Plant Depot

Responsible for plant rescue and distribution.

GaLTT’s native plant recovery team visits properties to salvage native plants that will be lost when land is cleared. They are taken to the Native Plant Depot at the east entrance of the Commons for others to take, free of charge, to plant on their properties. Landholders are also encouraged to take potted native plants to the depot without the assistance of the recovery team.

While it is officially a Conservation initiative, the Native Plant Depot is currently managed by Community Engagement. (We are currently looking for a volunteer to take on Depot management.) EMAIL:

Communications Committee

Responsible for societal record-keeping as well as written, print and digital communication materials developed on behalf of both committees and the organization as a whole.

This very busy behind-the-scenes committee develops and manages print and electronic communication with GaLTT’s membership and volunteers, and with the general public, and provides writing, editing, and design services for other GaLTT committees. It works through:

  • digital communication with members and volunteers by email and through our website and Facebook page
  • printed publication of trail maps, brochures, self-guided walk pamphlets, other educational materials, and our annual newsletter
  • public communication and advertising through the local newspaper, Gabriola’s community email distribution lists (such as Gabevents), GaLTT’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and Facebook community bulletin boards.

The committee also manages organizational record-keeping, including print and digital data storage of documents and island-related mapping data and archival material. It maintains printed and digital minutes of all board meetings and of Annual and Special General meetings of the membership.

Communications works closely with all GaLTT committees and programs to publicize events and activities and educate our community about our work as well as conservation practices.

Communications handles so much that at the end of 2022 we hired contractor Paula Brent to provide data analytics and support for social media, web and email communications, a move that has been very successful and expanded our capabilities significantly.

Communication Committee is co-chaired by Jenni Gehlbach and Nola Johnston; other members are Rebecca Furnell, Sarah Kopjar, Emma Miller Tansley and Paula Brent. Although there is overlap in responsibilities, each of us tends to take on areas of specialization.

Rebecca is a member of the committee in her capacity as Membership Committee chair, as her work integrates with communication needs. Sarah serves as Recording Secretary for board meetings and manages much of the official organizational record-keeping. Jenni is co-chair, writer and editor par excellence, and keeps us all focused. She also provides writing and editing assistance to the Board.

Nola works closely with committees to handle organizational graphic design for all print materials, ads, signage, and our website and is the managing administrator for our website; Emma manages our Events Calendar. Emma and Nola are admins for our Google for Nonprofits Workspace, used by committees for collaborative work. Nola handles mapping for visual communications, including updating and maintaining our printed trail map, originally designed and illustrated by GaLTT member Cameron Murray (Topographics Landscape Architecture).

Paula manages our email (with backup from Nola), and develops and posts most of our social media content, with input from all committees and support on any related membership data management from Rebecca.


Trails Committee

Responsible for any work relating to public trails.

This committee deals with all issues connected with our public trail system, and is also literally where the heavy lifting occurs. Based on monitoring and requests, the committee

  • plans and executes regular work parties to build and maintain trails on public land and on other legal, approved routes, including trails legally licensed for public use across private land
  • builds and installs boardwalks over wetland areas on the trails to prevent ecological degradation.
  • supports the RDN and Provincial parks departments with park management plan implementation.

Its Chairperson is Barry Moerkerken who manages regular work parties of volunteers to build and maintain Gabriola’s trails, construct boardwalks, and works with other committees when additional support is required. Member volunteer Don Machell manages regular trail trimming as needed. Barry and member Tom Wojcik manage trail licences. Barry also manages a group of volunteers who are trained and certified in the use of chainsaws who help clear trees that have fallen onto the trails. Several other GaLTT member volunteers are regularly active in this committee’s work. EMAIL:

Accessibility Subcommittee

Responsible for organizational initiatives relating to accessibility.

This committee was formed in 2018 in response to public expressions about the lack of any beaches accessible to those with mobility restrictions. Having conducted a survey to assess that need as well as the accessibility of our trail system, the committee now works with the RDN and BC parks departments to make improvements. Although it largely functions in a standalone capacity, it is designated as a Trails subcommittee because projects overlap significantly.

The Accessibility Committee is chaired by Sarah Kopjar. The committee includes board member Barry Moerkerken and Peter Danenhower, and GaLTT members Tom Cameron and Jenni Gehlbach. EMAIL:

Share the Trails Subcommittee

Responsible for public education on trail etiquette.

This committee encourages walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders to share Gabriola’s multi-use trails safely and enjoyably, focusing on trail user education and managing relevant trail signage. Although education on trail etiquette remains important, the work initiated when the committee was formed is now complete and the committee is currently inactive.

Mapping Subcommittee

Responsible for mapping communication materials.

A standalone mapping committee was formed in 2022, and has now been moved under the auspices of Trails as a subcommittee. Its current mandate is to review and update content relating to our printed trail map and to look at developing new maps for specific user groups such as cyclists and people with mobility issues.

The Mapping Subcommittee is chaired by Nola Johnston. Board members Hugh Skinner, Sarah Kopjar, Barry Moerkerken and Tom Wojcik serve on the committee with GaLTT member Lou Skinner. EMAIL:

Associated committees under the GaLTT umbrella

Gabriola Streamkeepers

Streamkeepers engage the community in monitoring and protecting our fresh water bodies. For several years they operated as a semi-independent committee under GaLTT’s umbrella, sharing GaLTT resources such as hall rental and insurance for volunteers. In 2019 the group became inactive, but a few members continue to monitor the health and status of Coats Marsh and Mallet Creek.